Young readers will love Ninita and learn to care about saving her habitat.



Ninita may be a deaf pygmy marmoset, but she makes the most of life in her big world.

Ninita’s big world is not the Amazon rainforest, the native habitat of pygmy marmosets, the smallest monkeys in the world, but the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation in Loxahatchee, Florida. Ninita was born deaf. She took in the sights and warmth of her habitat, but she could not “hear the hum of mosquitoes and dragonflies [or] her parents’ voices.” Her parents abandoned Ninita when she was just 3 weeks old. In Coleman’s illustrations Ninita is adorable, with sad or happy eyes and cheerful expressions of wonderment as she finds a world of cuddly toys, warm blankets, ropes to climb on, and yogurt, rice pudding, and “fluffy whipped cream” to eat—this last licked from the tip of an enormous human finger that effectively demonstrates scale. She especially loves being groomed with a toothbrush. As she grows, she explores tall grass and dark caves (depicted as the hair of a white human caregiver and partially opened book, respectively). These adventures are made better when she’s introduced into a new habitat and meets a new marmoset friend named Mr. Big to share them with. A lively if highly anthropomorphizing text and endearing digitally created illustrations combine to demonstrate how even the smallest creatures can “climb as high” and “jump just as fast” as their peers in a world that supports their efforts. The human hands shown could be white or brown.

Young readers will love Ninita and learn to care about saving her habitat. (author’s note, bibliography, fun facts) (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-77001-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups.


From the First Discoveries series

A photo album of young wolves running, playing, and growing through their first year.

Light on factual details, the uncredited text largely runs to vague observations along the lines of the fact that “young wolves need to rest every now and then” or that packs “differ in size. Some are large and have many wolves, while others are small with only a few.” The chief draws here are the big, color, stock photos, which show pups of diverse ages and species, singly or in groups—running, posing alertly with parents or other adult wolves, eating (regurgitated food only, and that not visible), howling, patrolling, and snoozing as a seasonal round turns green meadows to snowy landscapes. In a notably perfunctory insertion squeezed onto the final spread, a wildlife biologist from the American Museum of Natural History introduces himself and describes his research work—all with animals other than wolves. Budding naturalists should have no trouble running down more nourishing fare, from Seymour Simon’s Wolves (1993) to Jonathan London’s Seasons of Little Wolf (illustrated by Jon Van Zyle, 2014) and on. Baby Dolphin’s First Swim follows the same formula even down to profiling exactly the same wildlife biologist.

A bland also-ran trailing a large litter of like-themed pups. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4549-2237-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

Good advice and good reading practice rolled into one.


From the My First series

Kitten care presented early-reader style.

“Something soft and furry / Is coming home with me. // It is my new kitten. / She is as sweet as can be!” First-person, easy-reading text describes meeting the kitten, feeding the kitten, playing with the kitten, then taking it to the vet and keeping it safe. The first half of this volume is presented in rhyme with Wachter's photos of real children of various races and their kittens (always the same kitten-and-child pairings) imposed on simple cartoon backgrounds. On other pages, photos of kittens (all cute as the dickens) leaping, scratching, running, and sleeping appear against similar backgrounds. The second half reiterates the same information but in more detail. It passes on instructions in simple language for tasks like introducing a kitten to its litter box and interpreting the sounds and body language of your new furry friend. Jumping the species barrier, Biscuit creator Capucilli does a fine job of instructing young, new pet owners in the care of their wee feline friends in this companion to My First Puppy (2019). This helpful guidebook ends with a message encouraging aspiring young pet friends to adopt from shelters. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-12-inch double-page spreads viewed at 85.7% of actual size.)

Good advice and good reading practice rolled into one. (Early reader. 5-7)

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-7754-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet